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Strange Ephesus Trajan

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  • Strange Ephesus Trajan

    I bought this coin years ago wondering about it's condition. It was sold as an Ephesus Trajan/Artemis AE 18mm SNG Cop 384. I don't own SNG. The strange thing is an obverse spot at 4 hour that is silver looking, not bronze. The highlights also seem to show silver under the thin areas of the patina. I wonder if the coin is a silver drachm. But I also wonder if its a fake coin of white metal with a fake patina. I used a swab with lacquer thinner and scrubbed on the edge but no color came off making me think it's ancient patina. The patina has cracks in it. I paid $29 for it. Any thoughts?
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    Last edited by livingwater; Feb 11, 2014, 02:24 PM. Reason: spelling

  • #2
    You didn't mention the weight, but I can't see any Greek silver denomination for Trajan (drachm, tetradrachm, cistophore) close to this coin. More, the patina looks much like being from a bronze coin.
    I've found a similar coin in acsearch:
    http://www.acsearch.info/record.html?id=528494

    Click image for larger version

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    Trajan, Ionia, Ephesos - BMC 14.76.221

    Jérôme

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    • #3
      thanks

      Hi Jerome,
      Thanks for the information. I'm thinking this coin is genuine and an AE not silver. I read a Wikipedia article about brass which mentions that Strabo discussed a metal called "false silver" which likely was Zinc. I think my coin is not copper but bronze with enough Zinc or other alloy in it to have either looked silver when struck or more likely turning from bronze to silver color after being underground reacting to the elements over time. It seems this coin is rather scarce. It reminds me of the silver looking pennies struck by the US mint during WWII due to the copper shortage. They were made of steel with a Zinc coating.

      Mark

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      • #4
        Strange Ephesus Trajan

        Hi Mark,
        I imagine that the 'silver' speck is probably just some sort of
        surface adhesion, and it may even be removable (if you want
        to take such a risk - beware of damage!).
        The coin itself appears to be okay, but I am concerned about
        the cracking. If it is just in the patina, then that's probably
        okay, but if it goes into the coin metal itself, then that should
        cause alarm. I'd get it checked out, "in-hand", by someone
        trustworthy, very familiar with ancients, and who knows what
        they are doing/talking about.
        The obverse legend should read:
        AYTO NEPBAC TPOIANOC KECAP (sic!).
        (this is a known variety)

        Walter Holt
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ephesuscoins/

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        • #5
          Thanks

          Thanks Walter, for your comments!

          Mark

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